Student Profile: Matthew Swift

Zimbabwean born Matthew Swift is the youngest of three children. He has been attending the academy since the beginning of the year and is enrolled in the School Leaver program. He has a positive, light-hearted attitude and a good sense of humour and he is an absolute sports fanatic!

At a young age Matthew was diagnosed with Perthes disease, which is a rare childhood condition that affects the joint in the hip. With limited movement he was restricted and needed to stay clear of any aggressive contact sports and so he decided to try his hand at golf. He himself was amazed to see that he had a talent for the game. He is now fully recovered and his love for golf has evolved into a passion.

His family lived on a golf estate and this is how he was first introduced to the game. His father initially taught him how to chip and putt. Matthew was 11 when he competed in his first club tournament at Kansanshi Golf Estate in Zambia. He has won the Club Monthly Medal three times at Kansanshi. However, the achievement he is most proud of is when he was 15 years old and and managed to break 80 twice when he competed in the World Schools Golf Challenge. With his current handicap at 3, he is dedicated and working hard towards becoming a scratch handicap this year. He is very committed to his exercise regime and works out for 1.5 – 2 hours daily. He enjoys extended sessions both on the practice green and on the range where he focusses on his long game. Matthew envisions obtaining a PGA tour card one day.

On his bucket list is to play the highly esteemed Austin Country Club in Texas. In his opinion Oubaai Golf Estate is one of the top local courses to play and he enjoys the layout of the greens. Matthew has a great sense of humour and when asked what his favourite club in his bag is, he said that it is his attitude. His role model is English professional golfer Andy Sullivan whom he sees as an individual who has a good character, a great sense of humour and who is always laughing. He believes his competitive advantage is his ability to endure and brush off a bad hole and not allowing it to affect his next shot.

Matthew is intrigued with the world around him and his fascination with how things work has fueled an interest in the world of engineering. He would like to keep his options open and might consider obtaining a degree in engineering in the future. Matthew is currently working on his mathematics and is completing his A levels.

He says that KeNako has taught him a great deal, especially on the how to stay focused and not to succumb to pressure when playing in tournaments. “KeNako nurtures your skills. The academy and staff really assists you to keep your focus, your thoughts and energy on your golf. I think everyone is very supportive and encouraging. They really give you the time of day. The atmosphere at the hostel is very home-like and warm; you share a home with like-minded people who share the same interest as you which is fantastic.”

Head Coach Roger Wessels, “Matthew is a young man who always tries his best and fully applies himself to all aspects of the program.”

Keep your dedicated and committed spirit Matthew!